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Structural/developmental editing

Gale combines an unerring eye for grammatical detail with the ability to offer perceptive critiques covering plot, structure, characters, pacing and all the other vital elements.

Stephen Gardner, author

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  • working on your text to make sure it is ready for publication and/or submission

  • looking at characterization, pace, structure, plot, point of view, language, commercial viability (fiction)

  • offering possible solutions to inherent issues in the text

  • suggesting restructuring or rewriting of material where appropriate

  • checking content flow, illustrations, facts, references and notes, commercial viability (non-fiction)

  • a general overview (critique) of the entire work, highlighting strengths and weaknesses within the text, as well as considering its suitability for a particular market/audience

  • drawing attention to possible legal issues or material that might require permissions

  • can also incorporate copy-editing (see below)

  • may involve elements of book doctoring

Structural/developmental editing (also known as substantive or content editing) can include:


I was very fortunate to find Gale having used numerous copy-editors in the past. … She understood precisely what was required from the onset, her communication not just excellent but empowering throughout. She made a joy of what is, normally, a very stressful experience for me.

Anton FitzSimons, author

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Copy-editing (also known as line-editing) involves:

  • ensuring that your text makes sense, flows properly and actually says what you intended

  • scrutinizing spelling, grammar, punctuation, consistency

  • checking for anomalies/inconsistencies in the text

  • marking up your text for layout

It usually incorporates:

On-screen editing

  • editing straight onto an electronic version of your text rather than on to a printed version

  • inputting copy-editing changes from elsewhere onto an electronic version of a text

... as well as:


  • checking for consistency of spellings (British or American), subject matter, punctuation and layout markings

  • correct use of quotation marks and italics

  • accurate labelling of headings and subheadings, as well as picture captions (non-fiction)

  • ensuring conformity of abbreviations, such as inclusion or omission of full stops

  • complying with specific referencing systems, if applicable.

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